A new study, Phase One Supplemental: Maternal & Infant Mortality in the First Year of Life, builds on last spring’s initial study focused on the risk of infant removal by child welfare shortly after a birth event due to a referral of substance exposure. The supplemental study establishes a baseline understanding of infant and maternal mortality outcomes for families in Colorado involved in child welfare and impacted by perinatal substance use.
Several significant bills passed this legislative session, strengthening opportunities to improve the lives of Colorado residents across the lifespan, from prenatal care to early childhood development to adult services. The Colorado Lab worked together with state and local government agencies, legislators, the Governor’s Office, research colleagues, and subject matter experts to inform this suite of legislative decision making.
Fostering Opportunities: Closing the High School Graduation Gap for Youth Who Experience Foster Care
Only one in four Colorado students who experience foster care during high school graduate with their class. Most interventions aimed at improving the graduation rates of foster youth are spearheaded by child welfare agencies or the judicial system with services typically ending when students exit the foster care system. Yet there is evidence to suggest that the risk for poor educational outcomes may increase after foster care ends. Fostering Opportunities is different because it is delivered by a school system and continues service until a student graduates or demonstrates sustained academic success.
Multisystemic Therapy (MST), a community-based intervention targeting youth ages 12-17 who are involved or at high risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system, has a proven record of success. It is delivered by trained teams of therapists over the course of 3-5 months with multiple home-visits per week. This project extends MST to regions of the state where the service was previously unavailable.
Families affected by substance use during a pregnancy are at risk for infant and maternal mortality, significant health consequences, and threats to well-being of the family as a whole. This data linkage study improves our ability to monitor current trends by establishing a comprehensive set of definitions for prenatal substance use for affected mothers and infants in Colorado.